Safety‐related fieldbus is now being employed in many varied applications. Developments in fieldbus technology and programmable systems, coupled with developments in International and European Standards have created the opportunity for widespread use. Performance, equipment availability, flexibility, diagnostics and reduced cost of ownership are the principal reasons for rapid growth in safety‐related networking. The use of programmable safety systems has fundamentally have changed the way in which safety is now being engineered in the manufacturing plant. New devices provide direct connectivity to safety‐related networks, increasing the scope and changing the architecture of safety systems far beyond conventional expectations. Technological developments, application and benefits of safety‐related networking in industrial automation systems are shown. Criteria for safety network selection are highlighted.
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